Moby-Dick as Corporate Catastrophe: Law, Ethics, and Redemption
University of Cincinnati Law Review, Vol. 90, No. 2, 2021
37 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2021
Date Written: 2021
Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick serves here as a vehicle through which to interrogate core features of American corporate law and excavate some of the deeper lessons about the human soul that lurk behind the pasteboard mask of the law’s black letter. The inquiry yields an illuminating vantage on the ethical consequences of corporate capital structure, the law of corporate purpose, the meaning of voluntarism, the ethical stakes of corporate fiduciary obligations, and the role of lawyers in preventing or facilitating corporate catastrophe. No prior familiarity with the novel or corporate law is required.
Keywords: corporate law, corporate governance, legal ethics, philosophy, law and literature, Melville, Moby Dick, agency, fiduciary duties
JEL Classification: K22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation